The Japan Preview: 12/11/11 Edition (Monster Hunter 3DS, Skyrim) - NewsVGChartz Staff , posted on 11 December 2011 / 13,556 Views
The major releases of December continue to roll on out - this week had Monster Hunter Portable 3G for 3DS, and next week has Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3. This is also the last week before Vita launches in Japan which makes sense as PSP is definitely slowing down quite a bit in Japan with hardware declining and fewer and fewer titles putting up big numbers.
1) Monster Hunter Portable 3G (3DS) - 419,000
2) Mario Kart 7 (3DS) - 159,000
3) Super Mario 3DLand (3DS) - 92,000
4) The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim (PS3) - 76,000
5) Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. (PS3) - 62,000
6) Usavichi: Game no Jikan (DS) - 42,000
7) Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Blast (PS3) - 41,000
8) Toaru Kagaku no Chou Denjihou (PSP) - 37,000
9) Kirby's Return to Dreamland (Wii) - 34,000
11) Just Dance Wii (Wii) - 28,000
11) Pokepark 2 (Wii) - 28,000
13) Taiko no Tatsujin Wii: Ketteiban (Wii) - 23,000
13) Metal Max 2: Reloaded (DS) - 23,000
14) Mario & Sonic at the London Olympics (Wii) - 21,000
15) One Piece: Gigant Battle 2 - Shinseka (DS) - 16,000
In addition to the games above, Skyrim (X360), The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii), Wii Sports Resort (Wii), Fortune Street (Wii), and Wii Party (Wii) should be in the final top 20 data for the week.
Data this week indicates somewhat poor planning for both Nintendo and Capcom. Monster Hunter Portable 3G ended up with 405,000 preorders on the eve of release, but Capcom apparently stuck to the 420,000 initial shipment it planned, with possibly a small second day shipment. Hence the game opened to figures weaker than the recent Wii and PSP mainline Monster Hunter games, but about 50% better than the recent PS3 port. Odds are with a bigger shipment Capcom could have sold at least 500,000 copies of Monster Hunter Portable 3G week one. In any case, this is normally the week hardware grows 50% just about across the board, so 3DS should be at 300,000 plus whatever hardware Monster Hunter pushed - very good numbers for Japan. Anything from 350,000 - 500,000 should be expected for the week.
Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword looks like it is suffering shortages of some kind, as even the most front loaded games typically sell 50% of week two in week three, but the data suggests Skyward Sword has not been replenished in the sample store or dropped below 16,000 from 32,000 last week. The first possibility is more likely. The other data for the week is fairly typical - Metal Max, Mario & Sonic, Skyrim, and Dragon Ball Z all performed about as well as games in those series have in recent years. Just Dance, Taiko, Kirby, and Pokepark are all following the traditional Wii pattern and lifting with hardware.
Data for the week ending December 18, 2011 should be fascinating in Japan, as the Vita launches December 17, and Final Fantasy XIII-2 arrives December 15. Sony still has given no guidance on Vita shipments for the March 2012 fiscal year, which to me means they don't expect it to be that relevant just yet. If they're only shipping 2-4m globally in four months in Japan and two months in the West, there might only be 250,000 Vitas or so shipped next week in Japan, although again that is a total guess as Sony hasn't indicated how many systems it can manufacture. Demand for Vita games certainly is not that high in Japan yet, although it is broadening. Uncharted Vita and Hot Shots Golf Vita have 20,000 - 25,000 preorders, Dyntasy Warriors Vita and Disgaea Vita have 10,000 preorders each. Unless hardware is much higher than 250,000 units week one, most Vita games could easily sell under 20,000 units launch week, with perhaps Uncharted & Hotshots Golf selling to one in five Vita owners each, and Dynasty Warriors & Disgaea selling to one in ten Vita owners each. That would leave 40% for Ridge Racer, Blazblue and the rest of the launch lineup, assuming around 250,000 games are sold for Vita week one. Vita doesn't launch until December 17, so look for an article with final preorder figures for Vita games mid-week.
The other big story for next week will be Final Fantasy XIII. With only three days of preordering left, Final Fantasy XIII-2 has 330,000 preorders. In contrast, Final Fantasy XIII preorders reached 1,035,000 at the aligned point before launch. There is simply no way that the gap will be bridged between the two preorder rates over the next few days. Final Fantasy XIII-2 preorders look like they will reach 340,000 - 375,000 units in Japan on the eve of launch, compared to 1.1m for Final Fantasy XIII the day before it launched. For Final Fantasy XIII, week one figures ended up being 50% higher than preorder totals at this point out from launch. If that were to happen with Final Fantasy XIII-2, the game would sell a bit less than 500,000 units week one. Most Western impressions of the game were strong at E3 and Leipzig though, so my suspicion is word of mouth will be better for Final Fantasy XIII-2 than for Final Fantasy XIII, making an opening of anywhere 450,000 - 700,000 possible week one. Nonetheless, the game does look like it will perform far worse than its predecessor in Japan, which is rather striking as it isn't a spinoff or built like FInal Fantasy XI / Final Fantasy XIV.
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